Microsoft Edge accidentally introduced Chrome’s side panel feature in the latest Canary version

Microsoft Edge’s latest “Canary” update brings Chrome’s “Side Panel” feature to the browser, which is now enabled by default. This feature may have been inherited from the latest Chromium upstream changes and could be removed in the next update, so it’s a window to watch as they develop the trade-offs to new features.

The side panel is a feature developed by Google for the Chrome browser for quick access to bookmarks and reading lists. Initially, it only supported bookmarks, and later the reading list was added to the panel as well. You can notice this change in the Chrome 99 update released on March 23. Recently, Google began testing “Side Search” in the Chrome browser, and it also uses a side panel to display search results.

It’s worth noting that Chrome will allow a side panel to be displayed, either showing search results, bookmarks and reading lists. Like other Chromium features, Microsoft Edge got the side panel for the first time in the Canary channel. The feature is called directly in the toolbar in Edge 101 and uses the same icon as Chrome.

You can open the side panel in Edge by tapping the icon on the toolbar. Edge displays the Reading List and Favorites in the side panel. As you can see in the Chrome browser, the use of this feature is very simple and straightforward.

Microsoft has previously made it clear that it will not bring its reading list to the new Edge. The side panels available in Edge may fill in the gaps in this functionality. William Devereux, a developer at Microsoft Edge, on the other hand, has confirmed that the sideboard feature in Edge is a bug, so it may disappear sooner or later.

This isn’t the first time this has happened in the upstream changes of Chromium, where in the past Edge had Chrome-extended menu buttons but disappeared the next day.

When building with a highly volatile Canary, you should anticipate these things, and every feature that is tested or appears in the Canary branch may not make it into the public version of Edge.